On Sunday, we preached Luke 18 and Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler. We observed that this man had so much going for him and seemed like the perfect recruit for Jesus’ team. He had so much to offer. And yet the story tells us that he walks away from Jesus grieved. He had failed to see Jesus as the great treasure worth sacrificing everything for. And so, to his ruin, he held on to cash forsaking Christ.
The text should be a sobering one for our people at Seven Mile Road because in a lot of ways, we look just like him. Here’s what the rich young ruler would have looked like if he lived in our day. He would have grown up in a religious home. He would have been moral, trying hard to be a good person. He would have studied hard and went to a good college earning several degrees. He would have gotten a good job and earned a good living. He would have been a good family man. When people looked at his life, his home, his success, they would have considered him blessed by God. And he himself would have believed that there was a God, and have believed in an afterlife, and would have cared deeply about the eternal state of his soul. That’s what he would have looked like. That’s what a lot of the people in our community look like. Good, moral, successful people who think about God and care about their soul.
And he rejects Jesus.
We pleaded that this not be the case among us. The Gospel reminds us that Jesus is the Rich Ruler who gave up everything to have us. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
In turn, may we see Jesus as the great treasure worth giving everything for. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
Here are two resources for further thinking, particularly about wealth. If anyone knows of some other great resources (books, sermons, articles, etc), feel free to post them.